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Knuckleball Defense, Injuries Among Early Season Concerns Teams Face

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 4/3/2013 7:19:31 PM

The 2013 MLB regular season is underway and there are already a couple of teams dealing with injuries to key players. While the New York Yankees entered the season with a number of injury concerns, the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs lost a couple of key players on Wednesday, while the Toronto Blue Jays discovered what could be a significant concern going forward. There haven’t been many online betting trade rumors over the past couple of weeks, but if the Blue Jays decide they need a catcher that can handle the knuckleball they could be in position to make a move very soon.

JP Arencibia clearly struggled to stay with RA Dickey’s knuckleball in a 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on opening night. That clearly wasn’t the way that the Toronto fans envisioned the sports betting team would start the year, and while there was some speculation before the season began that Henry Blanco would be Dickey’s personal catcher, the team might not be thrilled with the idea of compromising offense for defense early on. Arencibia allowed five balls to get past him in order to set a new franchise record though, and that could be a major liability if it happens again in the future.

While the Yankees are dealing with the most significant list of injuries to open the year, the Reds and Cubs both took hits when they lost a couple of key players. Outfielder Ryan Ludwick suffered a dislocated shoulder and the team has called him out indefinitely, with Chris Heisey set to step in and take his position in the lineup. Meanwhile, there are reports that Chicago closer Carlos Marmol is dealing with injury concerns after he was removed from Monday’s game when he allowed a hit batter, a single, and a walk in three consecutive batters. Kyuji Fukiyama managed to come in and get the job done for the save, and while manager Dale Sveum has said that Marmol is still his closer, that is a situation worth monitoring as we move forward.

The online sportsbook situation in the National League West is drawing some early headlines, as the Los Angeles Dodgers battle the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants in a matchup of two teams that are expected to fight one another for the best record in the division. The Dodgers struck first, but the Giants evened the series at one win each with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy told reporters that he will not have a strict platoon between outfielders Andre Torres and Gregor Blanco, but rather that they will split time based on which hitter has the hotter bat. The Dodgers meanwhile are looking for some consistency from Justin Sellers after he was given the first shot at a roster spot after Hanley Ramirez was injured. If Sellers doesn’t work out the team could move to Juan Uribe at second, and there is a good chance that will happen considering that Sellers is a career-.199 hitter.

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